Archives: March 2014


STEEL GARDEN

Steel Garden / Kelli Murray

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I recently had the opportunity to do the branding for a new women’s boutique out if Columbia, SC called Steel Garden.  I was quick to get on board with their vision of bright florals and mix of modern and scripted type.   Their online store is coming soon, but their brick and mortar currently sells a few of my favorite designers like Somedays Lovin, Janessa Leone, One Teaspoon, and The 2 Bandits.  Lots more to come from them!

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MEET THE QUINNY BUZZ XTRA
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I recently got the opportunity to work with QUINNY on the launch of their new stroller, the “Buzz Xtra”.  Our old stroller was on it’s last leg, so this opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time.

What I love about this stroller is the modern and functional design.  It was super easy to set up (which was a nice surprise given my first stroller set up experience) and it was simple to familiarize myself in the way it worked.  Opening and closing it is a breeze with it’s unique hydraulic system.  And the large canopy provides great protection from the sun.  There is even an extra drop down visor option zipped into the canopy if you want full sun protection.  Rylee loved this feature because she felt like she was in her “own little tent”.  (she is currently obsessed with tents).   This stroller is geared toward urban and outdoor terrains, so it’s perfect for moms who like to get outside and get adventurous with their kids.  We only managed a neighborhood walk with this first test outing, but I’m excited to use it on trails and more rugged terrains!

Happy to welcome this lady to the fam :)  I’m sure she’ll be getting a lot of love from us, and soon to be new baby too!

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A BEAUTIFUL MESS PHOTO ACTIONS
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Have you guys checked out the new A Beautiful Mess Photo Actions yet?  If you are an amateur photographer like me, or even a professional, you know what a game changer actions can be.  If you have no idea what an “action” is, let me fill you in.  Actions are simply a series of recorded steps to help a photographer achieve a look without having to manually apply each process.  With a click of a button, you can enrich and enhance your photos in seconds.  Actions are an everyday tool for me in my photo editing and speed up my process tenfold.  If you’ve never given them a try, I’d encourage you to!

I recently got the Complete Collection of actions from the A Beautiful Mess Shop and I was blown away by them.  There are so many options to choose from, depending on the look you are going for.  The Folk Collection has some of my favorite actions which are more moody and bold.  The Fresh Collection gives your photos more of a pop with brightness and color.  And the Signature Collection has some of your every day go-to actions that take your images from flat and dull to vibrant and cheerful.

All of these images of Rylee were edited using the ‘Spring’ action from the Signature Collection.  I also used the ‘Stella’ action (also in the signature collection) on top of the Spring action, but bumped down the opacity to 20% so that action was not too strong.

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For this image, I added the ‘sun flare 2’ action that is a part of the Fresh Collection.


Spring Air
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Brume Dress c/o Free People / Talon Boot c/o Matisse

Photos by JOIELALA

Well, Spring has officially arrived!  Lilac’s are blooming everywhere around my neighborhood and the birds have moved in again to the big tree outside of my window.  We are already talking Easter plans and Mother’s day getaway ideas and it’s hard to believe winter is already behind us.  This weekend I even shopped for a new swimsuit, which I quickly realized was a terrible idea at 15 weeks pregnant.  It’s strange, this pregnancy thing.  3 years ago I got pregnant with Rylee (totally unexpected and unplanned) at a time when my health was pretty poor.  I had recently been diagnosed with both gluten and dairy allergies after a two year battle with chronic stomach pain.  It’s still a wonder my husband asked me to marry him at one of the lowest points in my life…..but I guess that’s how I knew the depths of his love for me.  One year after we were married, we were pregnant, and I was scared.  I had no idea if I was capable of growing a child in this body I was so convinced was fighting against me.  I was pretty underweight to begin with, so my doctor suggested I try to gain around 40 pounds.  That number made my eyes pop out of my head, but if that’s what the goal was, I was set on reaching it.  Ironically, with each week, my pain grew less and less. I was starving…..ALL the time.  So I allowed myself to eat, and often times the foods that I wasn’t supposed to.  And as my appetite increased, I soon realized that my “forbidden foods” no longer affected me the way they used to.  I tested pizza and breads, yogurt and pasta…..nothing.  Food had never tasted, or felt, so good.  I call  Rylee my miracle baby.  Because she was.  After struggling with my health for so long, this baby….the one that I was so scared for, the one I was not even certain I was capable of carrying….healed me.  In the end I only gained a shocking 18 pounds, far from the doctors orders.  But for the first time in a long time, I was able to sense what my body needed, and I listened.  It was like a re-set button was pushed.  I delivered a healthy 6lb baby and my food allergies were something of the past.  Rylee changed my life in every good and perfect way.

Fast forward to this pregnancy and I think my story will look a lot different.  Not bad, maybe just a little more “normal”…if there is such a thing in pregnancy.  I started at a much more healthy weight, and I’m already steadily gaining.  You can’t tell much in clothes, but the bump is definitely fast approaching.   Maybe the suggested 30lb weight gain this time around will be a reality!  Who knows.  I know that even if I gain 60 I’ll still probably be able to fit in this dress….so, there’s a win ;)

I keep bringing myself back to the idea of trust.  That I can only control what I can control and the rest is up to God.  Letting go of my fears, what if’s and expectations, and instead,  looking at this journey with optimism and with faith that everything will be ok.  The next time I visit the doctor I will know if this bump is a boy or a girl….two weeks can’t come soon enough.


DARLING MAGAZINE FEATURE
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I am so excited to be a part of Darling Magazine’s Spring issue!  I have been a big fan of this mag since it’s conception, so I was thrilled when they approached me to be a part of it.  These are just a few of the photos taken by Taryn Kent for the feature.  If you can’t tell, there is a DIY of sorts involved :)

Pick up a printed copy of the magazine for yourself HERE or get the digital version HERE.